- 10/19/2010, 06:07PM ET
Hyped78 said 10/19, 06:07 PM
Sometimes opinions about Kobe are polarized because of the bumps he has found along the way in his career, both inside and outside of the basketball court.
But one thing is undeniable. He is, right now, the best basketball player in the NBA and, to a larger extent, in the world.
Out of Shaq's shadow he is now the undisputed leader of the reigning NBA champions.
He has led his Lakers to 3 straight Finals appearances, winning back to back titles in these two last years, aiming for the 3-peat next year.
Kobe can score all that he wants (who can forget the 81 points he dropped on the Raptors?) but he has decided - and he has proven to be right - to share the burden with the rest of the team, to be an all-around elite basketball player who can lead his team to wins and championships.
He is utterly complete. Great basketball IQ, scoring, passing, flair and never ending highlight reel material, tremendous dribbling and ball control.
On top of that he is THE NBA's clutch performer. He thrives with hitting those game winners in dramatic fashion.
Good luck Hobbes!
HOBBES said 10/19, 09:32 PM
Flash back to last postseason.
The Lakers had two major road blocks on their way to the title. One of them the Celtics, were playing out of their mind, without a doubt, the best basketball they had played since the 2008 playoffs.
Otherwise, the ultra talented Lakers steam-rolled over all of the other competition.
With one exception.
The Thunder gutted the Lakers to a six game series.
Kobe Bryant is without a doubt a legend in the NBA, but he also has his faults.
-You credit the Lakers success to Kobe, but fail to mention that he had arguably the most talented team in the league.
-Kobe has some pretty serious allegations that people seem to forget about. Kobe was accused of rape, but like most sports sexual assault allegations, it was settled out of court.
The mans record in not pristine.
To announce my pick. I'd like to refer back to my description of the '10 playoffs. The underdog Thunder, were keyed by a dynamic player, the youngest scoring champion ever, Kevin Durant.
Kobe may have more history and titles, but Durant is the future of the basketball world.
This is current, not accumulative.
Best of luck, Hyped
Hyped78 said 10/20, 02:31 PM
Kobe won the Finals MVP last year, while leading his Lakers to the title.
He was selected to the All-NBA First Team, as was Durant.
He was also selected to the All-NBA Defensive First Team. Durant wasn't even picked for the All-Defensive 2nd team. Quite simple: Kobe is a better defender than Durant.
On top of that let us consider for a moment that Kobe played almost the entire last season with an injured index finger, which kept nagging him.
He was also wobbled by some other minor injuries.
Even injured, Kobe was able to lead his team into winning it all. If that's not amazing, then I don't know what it is.
And more recently he decided to take the summer off so he could heal properly in order to go after the 3-peat.
To be the best player in the world you have to come up big in the playoffs. The regular season is, to a certain extent, an afterthought.
And in last year's playoffs, when Durant's Thunder played Kobe's Lakers, Durant averaged 5 less points than what he did during the regular season.
His FG% also dropped.
Kobe? Scored more in the playoffs, had more rebounds and assists, than what he did during the regular season.
HOBBES said 10/20, 10:17 PM
In defining the 'best' player in the current NBA landscape, one must look at both his on court talent, his off court presence, because no matter how you slice it, star NBA players are mainstream celebrities.
First, lets take a look at Kobe's off-court presence.
Regarded as a bulldog, Kobe has taken jibes at former players and fallen into rivalries with disgruntled team mates ( I'm looking at you Shaq!).
It's entertaining, and not necessarily a bad thing.
But a rape accusation certainly is. I don't believe any player with suspicion of such a crime should be considered 'best'.
Kobe's sphere almost acts as a nice foil to Durant's off court presence, which is almost pristine.
In a summer filled with greed and self idolization, Durant quietly signed a long term extension with his mini market team, announcing it on twitter, no ESPN special required.
Durant, off court, is certainly a much better representation for the NBA.
Durant is also the more dynamic player on the court too.
His arsenal of scoring is much more diverse, and Durant has accomplished this level of play at the ripe age of 21 ( at the time).
Durant is the present and future of the NBA.
Hyped78 said 10/21, 06:49 AM
What you are basically saying with that argument is that Kobe should not be considered the current best player because of his off-court activities.
That is basically the same as admitting that inside the court Kobe is the better between the two (even if you decided to write something at the end about KD being more "dynamic", etc).
Kobe is a better defender than Durant. That's undeniable.
He is also offensively as good as Durant is.
And, more than that, he is the complete package when it matters the most.
Durant didn't play in last year's playoffs as well as he played during the regular season.
Meanwhile Kobe came through again for his Lakers.
But if you want to talk about what Kobe does outside of the court, just bear in mind that the case was dropped and that his accuser didn't testify.
Michael Jordan had supposed gambling problems.
And you're going to tell everyone that, because of that, he shouldn't be considered the best player ever? Or one of the best players ever?
Kobe has the stats, the leadership and also the rings to show everyone that he's currently the best player in the game.
This TD is about the present, not a potential future.
HOBBES said 10/21, 11:30 PM
You got this one covered Hyped, Congrads.
Durant in todays game is a more elite player on the floor than Kobe.
Kobe is an older plyer, with a lot of miles on his tires. He's banged up, and certainly not as athletic as he used to be.
Durant is on the upswing.
With a deadly outside jumper and explosiveness to the rim, Durant arguably has the best offensive skill set in the league. MVPs and other individual awards will come in time, like Kobe's did.
Take a look at this:
Kobe at 21:
For a player to be on this level at such a young arge is almost unheard of.
Durant's combination of talent and offcourt poise make him the best player in the NBA.
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